Hi, I’m Kimberly.
From an early age, words have fascinated me. As a child, I struggled with a speech impediment and lost myself in reading books and writing poems. Finding my voice in a world where my spoken words often failed me gave me a keen sensibility about the nuances of communication. Today, I bring my unique understanding of the power of effective communication both in written and verbal platforms and my decades of experience as journalist to my passion for maternal and child health.
i am on a mission.
A mission to question, challenge, disrupt and then reimagine how we talk about birth and breastfeeding and then breaking down the many structural barriers women face in these areas. The goal is a new conversation, a new motherhood experience and a counterculture movement in infant feeding that begins with how we communicate and ends with how we activate our collective power as women.
As an award-winning journalist, author and a nationally recognized media commentator, consultant and advocate for breastfeeding and infant health, I leverage the power of words to transform thoughts, communities and ultimately our cultural norms. My consulting work helps non-profits, hospitals and public health-related organizations improve outcomes by creating messaging and communication that connects. All that, in between my most important job–mothering my wonderful two children.
In fact, it was my birth experience and early days of motherhood that inspired me to take on this journey. At the hospital, I felt disrespected and voiceless, weeks later I struggled to find support when all I wanted to do was give my baby the most nutritious first food possible. If that wasn’t enough, I suffered with post-partum depression. Like far too many women, I found myself lost in the gaping hole between the idyllic images of motherhood and breastfeeding and my own personal experience. I felt isolated and alone and vowed to make sure fewer women have to suffer the same fate. So here I am–sharing my journey with you and hoping that you share yours with me.
Motherhood changed my life,
now I work to change motherhood for all.
As a consultant...
I have been honored to lead innovative projects that explore the impact of community environment as a social determinant of breastfeeding initiation and duration. I’ve walked through communities in New Orleans, Jackson, Mississippi and Birmingham, Alabama to explore the scope of what I call, “first food deserts”—communities that severely lack or have inaccessible resources to support mothers who choose to breastfeed. I’ve also walked the streets of the Upper East Side of New York City to better understand the structural barriers that all women, regardless of income, face when it comes to feeding their babies.
I’m particularly proud of being selected as IATP Food and Community Fellow in 2011 to do the important work of creating more awareness of the social and cultural barriers to breastfeeding in vulnerable communities.
These days, I’m excited about leading the First Food Friendly Community Initiative (3FCI), an innovative pilot project funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, designed to create multi-pronged community support for breastfeeding in communities of need.
Of course, nothing in my work even comes close to my most important role as mother to my two beautiful children.
They inspire to be my best self and live my best life. It was my early days of motherhood, and my own personal struggles with breastfeeding that led me to ask myself, “Is this the best we can do for moms?” I knew something wasn’t right and I didn’t want other women to experience the anguish and isolation that I experienced. Years later, surviving divorce and embracing single motherhood helped me find my true inner strength and the courage to pursue my passion.
So that’s me in a nutshell: a life of overcoming obstacles, finding my voice and empowering mothers. Oh and p.s. as a Queens, New York native and a graduate of NYU and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, I rep New York City hard.
can’t live without
You Can Never Have Too Many
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
— James Baldwin
Kimberly Seals Allers is an award-winning journalist, author of five books, international speaker, strategist and advocate for maternal and infant health. A former senior editor at ESSENCE and writer at FORTUNE magazine, Kimberly is a leading commentator on birth, breastfeeding and motherhood and the intersection of race, policy, and culture. A frequent contributor to The New York Times and Washington Post, Slate and others, Kimberly has over 20 years of experience as an international business journalist and Wall Street columnist which gives her a unique lens to frame communications strategy with an understanding of business and the capital markets. As the director of various on-the-ground community-based projects in several U.S. cities, Kimberly is also deeply rooted in the lived experience of mothers across the socio-economic spectrum. She brings all of these experiences to bear in her strategic advisement for clients, advocacy efforts and her vision for a world that supports mothering as valued work.
Kimberly was recently named one of “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” for 2018 by Women’s eNews for her media advocacy work. Her fifth book, The Big Let Down—How Medicine, Big Business and Feminism Undermine Breastfeeding was published by St. Martin’s Press in January 2017.
Kimberly previously served as editorial director of the Maternal and Child Health Communication Collective, a national consortium of over 80 organizations, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, working to shift the narrative of maternal and child health issues. In that role, Kimberly provides communication capacity building, strategic advisement and other technical assistance to a variety of organizations ranging from university law centers to community organizing groups.
As a consultant, Kimberly provides strategic communication services to corporations focused on mothers, non-profits and other public health-related organizations, with an expertise in engaging communities of color and speaking across a broad group of interests to enhance the life of women and children.
Kimberly has led innovative community-based projects in New Orleans, Birmingham, Detroit and Philadelphia that explore the impact of “first food deserts”—communities that severely lack accessible resources to support mothers who choose to breastfeed—and designed community-partnered strategies to transform these areas into more breastfeeding supportive environments. She most recently created and directed The First Food Friendly Community Initiative (3FCI), a W.K. Kellogg-funded, $500,0000 pilot project in Detroit and Philadelphia to create community-partnered strategies to turn vulnerable communities into more breastfeeding-supportive environments.
Kimberly serves on the advisory board of MIT’s “Make the Breast Pump Not Suck” Hackathon and of 1000 Days, a non-profit focused on early nutrition founded by Hillary Clinton and is the former vice president of the Board of Governors for the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers (CABC). In 2018, she founded Narrative Nation, a non-profit that creates community-centered media and technology to eradicate health disparities.
Kimberly is also the author of The Mocha Manual series of books, published by HarperCollins and founder of MochaManual.com, an award-winning pregnancy and parenting destination for African Americans. Her first book, The Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancywas nominated for a NAACP Image Award and turned into a DVD sold at Wal-mart. The Mocha Manual to Turning Your Passion into Profit and The Mocha Manual to Military Life round out the top-selling series.
Kimberly has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, Anderson Cooper, the Tom Joyner Morning Show, Fox News and has been featured in various international and national media outlets, including The Guardian (U.K.), U.S. News & World Report, Essence, Black Enterprise, Pregnancy and in various online media properties.
Kimberly is a graduate of New York University and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. A divorced mother of two, she lives in Queens, NY with her children. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @iamKSealsAllers.